/ lakes conditions
Best coverage seems to be in the Langdale, Bowfell, Old Man and Wetherlam area.
> Best coverage seems to be in the Langdale, Bowfell, Old Man and Wetherlam area.
Does that mean you know of routes being done in Langdale or soft powder as well.....
I was out round the coniston fells today...just lots of soft powder and no ice at any levels....
Off to do Kilnshaw chimney very soon :-)
Fingers crossed for a good dump....I'll put some pics up tomorrow morning..
Mind you, that's being trendy for you. Looks easier to climb the bit shown without crampons and axes. No doubt I'll be told that I wasn't there so can't comment. What's wrong with dusting off powder snow before using handholds?
"Dave Williams, just checked your profile, climbing more than 20 years and only climbed E3 ha ha
Stuart Wood - 17/Jan/13"
Looks like people who climb routes that are out of condition really are idiots.
It was in brilliant condition, turf solid, bit too much snow if anything. If you had any knowledge of the Lakes, which you clearly don't, the start of the crux pitch of BB is quite steep and is usually not white. Sorry I hurt your feelings, but I really don't care. Winter climbing is just something I do when you can't go rock climbing. Rather than have a go at me via an internet forum why not sign up to your local climbing gym and put some effort in, you never know your grade might improve.
At least you know when things aren't in condition !
Some people are just too desperate to get out.
I'm calling you an idiot for "having a go" at people (now including me) who don't climb as hard as you. Get a grip.
Well said. For most climbers the most important thing is just to enjoy your climbing, whatever level you're at rather than being a competitive macho man who is only interested in pushing the grades and trying to be "better" than anybody else.
So general consensus is lakes is not realt in condition?
Ian Parnell has facebooked that he had a great day on Bowfell yesterday, but hey, what does he know about winter climbing!
I'd be astonished if I heard Ian Parnell belittle someone for not climbing hard enough.
anyone know how much snow is falling up there, road to borrowdale/patterdale passable?
Another example why UKC needs a "LIKE" button
Could you advise me how many pairs of socks I should wear before attempting to put my slippers on during the winter months?
Also is it permissible under UKC police protection of turf and rock rules if I can mow my lawn during the winter months, as I don't want to damage any organisms.
(It is rare that I can manage an organism nowadays in any case)
Not much has fallen in the Lakes over the last few days, still snow on the hills from last Sunday but no roads are impassible yet, went up Kirkstone Pass last night not a real lot of snow yet to be honest. Bowfell to Coniston got best coverage no idea of climbing conditions though. Any one been up high lately?
Been out in the Yewdale / Coniston area this lunchtime, photos show what we found, not much snow or ice.
Radar suggests little or no snow has reached the Lakes yet. And latest models suggest it may not get that far north at all.
There's more forecast for the weekend with the chance of a big dump on Sunday night.
From all this I take the following (after sifting out the usual arguments): more 'traditional' winter routes are not in viable condition due to no consolidated snow and little ice, despite reasonable frozen turf up high (though Blea Water Gill did get climbed in reportedly 'thin' conditions yesterday morning);
more 'modern' hard mixed routes more likely to be do-able (though pick the route carefully).
Does that seem a reasonable assessment at this time?
Cheers! Now that's the kind of reply we actually need on these threads!!!
> anyone know how much snow is falling up there, road to borrowdale/patterdale passable?
No snow on roads. However, very windy and there will be significant windslab.
> Does that seem a reasonable assessment at this time?
'Snow is currently lying at all levels but doesn't not reach any significant depth below 500m. Even above this level, the scouring action of the stong southeasterly wind means that large areas of east through to south facing slopes are generally snow free, whereas drifts and hollows where the snow has accumulated contain depths of up to 70cm. The wind is currently redepositing snow onto west through to north facing aspects.'
Check their site later and it should be updated with todays observations and tomorrows forecast.
I assume you meant Brown Cove Crags, the turf was pretty solid but not fully Scottish solid on Thurs.
There were some pairs out on the crags (stepped ridge and left buttess) and there was some bits of ice about on some of the other routes routes.
there was another pair on of Helvellyn who topped out near the shelter from Red Tarn.
If you go I'm sure you'll find plenty to keep you entertained for the day, have fun, Sunday looks like the better day
pics from thurs at
It'll be like concrete!
I was out in Red Tarn Cove on Helvellyn today- had planned to do viking buttress but it was almost all black apart from the top third which was still not very wintry really.
We went over and climbed the first part of V corner, which was good and froxen to 2/3 height, then wound our way up to the top, encountering the odd bit of turf that was not fully frozen. Snow is almost at sugary and unconsolidated, and there is little of it around.
As Stuart Wood has already said conditions are really quite good if a bit thin.
The turf is well frozen and even the easier gully lines are quite entertaining if you are prepared to 'mix climb' the occasional breaks. Best climbing is on the higher crags which can look a bit bare on first look during the approach but with an open mind good climbing exists.
As climb666 states, some routes in some not. Some localised soft slab developing which had easy shears but all very easy to avoid on the NE facing crag I was on.
Was out kirkstone pass today, was pretty warm tbh apart from when you caught the wind. Lots of unconsolidated powder and turf firm to hard in places just not everywhere
no real neve just powder,a fair bit of ice in kilnshaw chimney to be had but the snow was all powder and unconsolidated. Had a walk up to red screes then a nosy over at raven crag gully again reasonable ice but short on anything else. Good day for walking tbh
Just been for a run up around Catstye Cam, Swirral Edge and Stiding Edge.
If your into Mixed,which is alot of the Lakes winter climbing now, then you will find something to climb.
Turf frozen mostly all around, but where it is deep, its frozen inside and spongey on the top. Snow cover is minimal, but for rock/buttress routes, the conditios look good.
Where water has been running over rock, there is lots of ice formed. So if you really want ice, you could pick your way up many fell sides, taking little ice formations on your way.
Classic gullys are not choked with snow & if they are, its windslab that has formed into good windblown neve....
If the weather continues as it has been, then lots of easier water courses will be frozen on medium to high gorund.
This is an update on yesterdays blog. Some photos from this afternoon, taken around the Dunmail Raise / Grisedale Tarn areas. The ice is very thin and brittle.
Wind has been coming from the East/S-East... lots of small ice formations around the Glenridding YHA...
Sure S/E aspects will be good, but watercourses need another week to freeze well.
Kirkstone Pass area looking good, building up. Kirkstone Quarries, although not fully formed is on its way.
I know people had a play on V Corner and parties have looked at Viking Buttress, but I've not heard any reports of anything in anything like decent condition. I also know people who turned back from the east face, Brown Cove and Great End today due to 'not quite there yet' conditions. It all needs a bit longer, a dump of snow, a mini freeze/thaw and some patience.
We had a look at Blea Water Gill - it's not properly formed yet and is weakly bonded with water still running behind what ice there is. Pics from today and from next time we're out are here: http://www.facebook.com/lakelandascents
Managed to find lots of bits of thin ice to play on on the way up Red Screes today ice is forming all over not bad for soloing but not quite there yet for ice screws yet, a few more days of this and the water ice lines should be in. Not much snow though lots of frozen and unfrozen turf.
We climbed Link Cove Beck right hand, good, if a little damp. The left hand is getting there but needs several more days to be climbable, I'd guess at least 4 but it depends on many factors.
We then went up to Hutaple Crag. The mixed is not there on Hutaple and neither is it on Black Buttress (portcullis ridge et al). There is simply not enough snow and no rime. Turf is very good up there though. We climbed East Hutaple Groove, which was excellent and iced but nearer III/IV than the guidebook grade. For the guidebook grade lots of neve would be needed but it currently goes on quite thin but good water ice. All the belays were crap today though. Stubby ice screws were useful.
Other things I saw. Scrubby. Pendulum Ridge looks good. the mixed on the rest of the crag is not white enough for me today. I didn't see the top corner on Heorot - misty.
Had a walk around the north western fells today, over crag Hill and onto Grasmoor frozen turf from valley to summit not much snow though, although throughout the day today Helvellyn and the Dodds looked like they have had a right good covering and looked caked on the journey home compared to the journey there and was still snowing and more due.
All the crags on Bowfell were in very good condition today - I think they must have had some snow blown onto them, and hoared up in the clag, yesterday. We didn't have a camera with us but Bowfell Buttress, Cambridge Crag and North Buttress were all a lot whiter than in the guide book photos of them. Three teams were on Bowfell Buttress and looking to have a good, if crowded, time. After a little pratting around on Cambridge Crag we eventually did Plaque Route, which while not in the same league as Bowfell Buttress, is certainly better than the guide book makes it sound. If you've got time to climb in the next few days these crags would be a very good bet.
Seems we posted at the same time.
Turf not frozen enough - first time placements where we were.
Is it really frozen on there - yes.
Im not sure! !!!! - go and look next time - you might be suprised.
Had fun playing on an eliminate 5-6m grII-III ice fall that had formed in the gully.
Theres stuff to do if you look for it!
Sorry, after I did the F.W.A. of Plaque Route, I wrote the description which was along the lines of - "follow summer route"
I feel it is not really my place to tell people either how good or bad the route is - but it is nice after over 27 yrs to hear you enjoyed it.
BTW: I was out hacking about on skis on Raise on Sunday and found a 75mm thick layer of un-bonded windslab on North & West aspects.
see report here:
Now remind me which way the Climbers' Traverse on Bowfell faces?
Other teams on Heriot and Juniper Crack. Hoared slightly on the top pitches.
Link Cove looked nice.
We finished up Pendulum Gully and then onto the Ridge further up.
Here yer go, seen from across Mickleden at about 3pm on Sunday, the Bowfell crags poked out from the cloud.
Good picture. Pretty much says it all other than the turf under the snow on routes was well frozen.
Interesting to compare your shot with this:
Conditions were obviously very localised, all about aspect and wind directing I suspect.
The description in the guide suggests there is no real line to the route which we didn't find to be the case as we climbed obvious, (once on the route,) grooves throughout.
There was some localised slab on Bowfell but the climbers traverse was fine - the wind appeared to have been funneled at the crags rather than coming over the top. I also suspect that Bowfell didn't get the 'base' layer Raise may have got for the slab to move about on.
Hoping to head there Wednesday when i get the day off
> Ref Plaque Route:
> The description in the guide suggests there is no real line to the route which we didn't find to be the case as we climbed obvious, (once on the route,) grooves throughout.
Yes there is no real line to start - as you climb just about anywhere - as long as you get into the grooves to finish.
- pretty much as you found it.
The images of Bowfell above in this thread reveal some quite lean conditions - perfect for mixed climbing. Thankfully does look like the East wind has stripped most of the snow - therfore lessening avalanche risk in this area.
How about calling it Bellend? ;-)
heavy hoar(15cm deep)on the summit rocks of bowfell, lots of fresh snow drifting about, pretty cold wind
sorry rubbish photo but gives you the idea
There's some nice ice on the crag above angle tarn..
That's pretty much it I think.
Was just out for a bimble up Helvellyn via Comb Crags with my 12 yr old son yesterday.
Pic might give you an idea, though a bit more snow fell overnight.
That sounds very much like wind slab to me.. . :-/
Does anyone know what the roads are like round little Langdale or the road to hodge close?
The road from Ambleside to hodge is fine
Just seen that some one has climbed low water beck, anyone know whether this is in or Mark (mountain Journeys) is this what you went to have a look at?
went to Link Cove today, the left hand beck is not climbable but the right hand beck was good, running water under the iced slab in places so gear dodgy but fun none the less. The lowest steep bit is running with water so we by passed that. We then did Link Gully, excellent water ice all the way up but no useful snow, oddly there must have been a temperature inversion as any turf was well frozen in the gully proper but very wet above the climb as we walked off with pools of liquid water,then did some climbing on the upper beck icefall which was solid, walked up to Hart Crag, lots of ice and frozen turf but also tiring powder snow, we
met some people walking back from other climbs on Greehow End and they had to retreat because of unfrozen conditions on their climb. Good conditions if you find them but localised.
Just checked the guide, the gully I referred to as Link Gully is actually called Step Gully in the guide in case anyone is going that way
climbed low water beck yesterday and was in surprisingly good condition.will probably have improved by now,as hard frost last night and tonight.
nah! wallsend because thats where my mate who was the second spent the night after being arrested for D n,D in Newcastle the other week. Bellend just sounds crude.
Supposed to be heading up Friday on the hunt for ice. Not sure if its worth it now with the forecast....
You may be lucky on Friday ?
If you're only based in Lancaster it's not that far to be let down :)
With an early start Haweswater or Red Screes should provide some sport.
Low water beck, first pitch had been climbed but pretty thin with big chunks coming loose. Top pitch really good and well worth the abseil in.
Turf coniston way was all very wet and the ice was a little hollow.
One man's 'good condition' is another man's 'just about climbable'!
We did it today. First pitch was very wet with quite a few holes and worrying ice quality whenever it got too near the flow. Ice mostly not thick enough for screws - I got one in full length, the rest stuck out by about a quarter. Mildly traumatic, and great fun.
Second pitch in much better condition, though with a short ice-free section to pass the big chockstone.
A few icy steps above this to play on, with varying degrees of solidity :-)
I reckon it'd be in good solid condition in 3 or 4 days, if it weren't for the thaw due at the weekend :-(
Considering heading up to Bowfell (Cambridge Crag) on saturday for some of the mixed routes. Anyone got any thoughts on whether it will be worth it. Seen the forecast and seems like could be alright, but maybe not. Any help much appreciated. Cheers
Just got down from a night time ascent of Kilnshaw Chimney on Red Screes, good ice all the way up if a bit brittle in places, light snow falling for the whole time.
in stunning condition today
The weatherline forecast looks ok - if the weather plays out as this forecast suggests you should get something done I'd have thought, but go up with a pretty open mind at to route choice.
pix from Bowfell yesterday
> The weatherline forecast looks ok
Really? Heavy snow friday night followed by rising temperatures doesn't sound good to me.
It's certainly not a dead cert', just more hopeful than I originally thiought - The heavy snow, last time I looked, is potentially for central and eastern England, so, if that is the case and the weather does play out as predicted on weatherline as follows:
The day should be mostly fine and dry as one weather front has moved away to the east and before another arrives from the west to bring heavy rain overnight into Sunday. However there is a chance this rain may arrive from the west a little before dusk. Light westerly winds, freshening more moderate southerly towards the evening. Freezing level may be near 900m at first, but soon falling to 600m. Icy conditions likely at higher levels.
There could be some climbing saturday. (The base of Bowfell Buttress is at 700m ish and will only have been thawing for at most 24 hrs before re freezing, having been continually freezing for the best part of two weeks.)
I'd probably approach from Mickleden rather than the Band and Climbers Traverse.
we returned via the climbers traverse (having approached via Mickleden) I wouldn't want much more loose snow on there as it's a bit intimidating (well i found it so - especially in the dark)
Certainly the snow on the climbers traverse on Sunday was loose - lack of freeze thaw. It only really builds big areas of slab when it has a huge amount of snow on it, but slipping off it / being knocked off by a small slide and going down the broken ground below it is always a real danger.
Interestingly when I compared our time for walking in via the traverse last Sunday to walking up from the valley mid December, the Mickleden approach was 10 minutes quicker. Might change my approach route of choice!
it's a great approach until you hit the boulder fields, which are not that large but can talke a while to get across, and a lovely walk to boot. be great if there was decent track from the 'zag'
Hi - Did you solo?
Was it stable enough?
> Top pitch really good and well worth the abseil in.
Yep solo'd, took my little bro which was his first time in crampons and axes and even he soloed it, with a litlle help over the chockstone that is.
Hardly any snow in it, what is is easily avoidable and low down it's mostly water ice at about grade I/II with no cornice.
On descending, I saw a strange event - people where playing cricket on a cleared section of the ice on Sprinkling Tarn! What was more bizare is that they had cricket whites on...............think I need a drink!
Thanks for the post, that's great information. Looks like the wait may soon be over...
pix from Bowfell yesterday
Nice images! I have climbed Bowfell Butty twice in winter, in the dark - nice to see such intimate images. Well done & good work.
Good comments on the snow on the Climber's Traverse - nasty place at times.
BTW - what is in that great big orange rucksack?
Up Deepdale today -did Link Cove Ghyll rt hand-almost complete but fragile sections.
Greenhow End gullies iced up also Hart Crag but no consolidated snow.
Approaches hard work with the soft powder snow
I could of told you that from my chair in my office.
snowing in ambleside village this morning. there's going to be lots of power up high
or powder even
No sorry, it was a mixture light rain sleet and snow this afternoon and has turned to snow as rvrning has come on which would make me think it only just below freezing - two inches in our garden now though.
Think you'll need to go round.
I think you're right, likely to be undriveable. Was dale MRT have had to get a few groups off Hardknott/Wrynose already this year, and we've had one on Newlands.
Newlands on Wednesday night, so before the snow that's arriving now, needed 4WD or chains from the Buttermere side.
Anyone know if Kirkstone Pass is passable? Am Thinking of going to patterdale tomorrow to have a play on Helvelyn... Just wondering what the roads are like.
First proper dump of snow to hit Kendal this season, a good inch has fallen in the last few hours and still falling heavily, i reckon all passes will be closed tomorrow, maybe not Sunday though at it's due to warm up.
BBC site reporting it as shut.
Have fun !
The queue into the lakes is masssssive, can see it from our house. I think the windermere road is closed. Good luck to those stuck in the snow. 3/4 inches just outside kendal.
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